Spring Pitch Competition


The 2023 Spring Pitch was held April 19, 2023 in the KSC Governance Chambers. Eight students pitched their businesses to a panel of judges "Shark Tank Style" as they competed for $20,000 in cash prizes.    

View the winners


The Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship hosts an annual pitch competition to help grow and nurture student startups within the Ambassador Crawford College's entrepreneurship program each spring. All KSU majors are welcome to apply either individually or as a team. Once selected, eight finalists participate in a mentorship program to prepare for the live pitch event. In total, $20,000 will be awarded at the live Spring Pitch Competition.


Oluwasemilore Akintelure & Kaitlyn Phillips


Aampersand is a SaaS platform that helps aviation collaborators share flight-critical information. Drones and other aircraft in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector of aviation need to collect information about what's happening around them. Aampersand is a conductor, orchestrating information flow between all parties in the AAM industry. Aampersand offers the first solution that solves the problems faced by this industry.

Oluwasemilore Akintelure
Graduate Student  |  Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Aviation Management and Logistics

Kaitlyn Phillips 
Senior  |  Entrepreneurship & Masters of Business Administration Combined Degree Program

Sophia Edmunds



REVEIL is the solution to women’s underwear that revolves around active lifestyles. With antimicrobial fabric and its consumer-based design, REVEIL is one of a kind product.

Sophia Edmunds
Senior  |  Fashion Design

Samantha Flucht


Sammy Whammy's is a gender-neutral, sweatshop free, made to be handed down children's clothing company. The company focuses on creating fun, colorful, whimsical clothing that kids are excited to put on every day.

Samantha Flucht
Senior  |  Fashion Design

Cliford Fumbui



Jollof Box offers popular African foods for takeout and pick-up, including Jollof rice, fried ripe plantains and fufu. The company also offers catering services for events and parties. With over 500 satisfied customers in the Akron area, Jollof Box is dedicated to providing authentic African cuisine made with fresh ingredients and spices.

Cliford Fumbui
Senior  |  Computer Engineering 

Cedrick Kelly


Sckramble® is the preeminent daily competitive golf league network. Players, who range across all skill levels, enter to play in various 1-on-1 contests and 4-player tournaments for cash prizes. Sckramble® hosts competitions at traditional outdoor courses and indoor VR simulators.

Cedrick Kelly
Senior  |  Integrative Studies


Mario Nunez


The Winning Way features motivational speaker Mario Nunez, who provides positive, mindset-focused knowledge through motivational speaking and clothing and accessories. The clothing line creates a visual image of a winner that brings joy to the world and re-enforces the motivational messages. Mario provides wisdom from many perspectives, from starting your own business, to relationships, to confidence. Mario’s social media pages also feature a weekly motivational video, garnering thousands of views across all social media platforms.

Mario Nunez
Senior  |  Entrepreneurship


Bradley Smith



Finlit creates gamified learning tools, textbooks, and curriculum designed to empower students with the financial literacy skills they need for a successful future. Finlit aims to expand its physical product line and develop Edtech software to provide a cohesive learning experience for college and high school students across the country.

Bradley Smith
Junior  |  Finance



Michael Capellas

Michael Capellas ’76 is founder and CEO of Capellas Partners, a strategic technology advisory firm. He serves on the boards of Flex (Chair), Cisco, JDA (Chair), Cylance and Solace Systems. He is a senior advisor to Blackstone and is also on the Advisory Board of Kony. 

Michael Capellas 
Founder and CEO
Capellas Partners
KSU Alumnus, '76


Veronica Cook-Euell

Veronica Cook-Euell established her consulting firm in 2003, and established the dba, Euell Construction and Consulting Group in 2020. Euell Construction and Consulting is a full-service strategic supplier diversity consulting firm with expertise in construction outreach, engagement, community liaison and minority business development, and enterprise and workforce compliance inclusion reporting and monitoring. Cook-Euell serves as a Fractional Supplier Diversity team member with her dba, Euell Consulting Professional Services.

Veronica Cook-Euell
President & Chief Executive Officer
Euell Consulting Group LLC 


Michael Solomon

Michael D. Solomon began his career in Columbus, Ohio where he worked with Apple Computer to set up their original dealer network when they were a $100 million company until 1985, then moved to Seattle where he ran sales and marketing for Aldus Corp, which created Desktop Publishing, then moved to California in 1990 and worked in Silicon Valley as an executive, Venture Capitalist, entrepreneur, Board member and advisor ever since. He recently served as the Board Chairman of Within 3 Corporation, a Cleveland-based medical industry software company from 2010 to its successful take out financing with Insight Partners, a leading private equity firm in 2020. Michael is currently involved in three exciting new ventures in California and Colorado. He recently graduated from the Academy of Intuition Medicine with a Masters of Intuition Medicine Degree. Michael was a member of the Kent State Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2020, the Foundation Board from 2004 to 2011 and endowed the Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurial Speaker Series in 2002, the Jerry M. Lewis speaker series in 2022, and the Alan Canfora scholarship program in Activism in 2021. He graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1974.


Michael Solomon
Entrepreneur, Investor, Advisor
KSU Alumnus, '74


Jim Unger

James R. Unger joined Miller Transfer in 1971 where he held various positions serving as Treasurer and Executive Vice President before becoming the President in 1996. Unger graduated from Kent State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in management science.

Jim Unger 
Retired, Chairman of the Board of Advisors
Miller Transfer
KSU Alumnus, '67


Sandra Volpe

Sandra Volpe, MBA, is currently an independent Director on the Board of Directors of Republic Services (NYSE: RSG) and serves on the Finance, Nominating and Corporate Governance, and Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility committees. Passionate about health, education, leadership development, DEI and entrepreneurship, Sandra is the incoming Chair of the Board of the American Heart Association, Eastern States Region, Vice Chairman of the National Advisory Board of Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship and a National Trustee on the Board Of Trustees of Kent State University. Until retiring in June 2022, Sandra was senior vice president, Strategic Planning, Communications and Business Development Solutions at FedEx. 

Sandra Volpe
Board of Directors of Republic Services (RSG)
Vice Chairman of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship National Advisory Board



The John S. and Marlene J. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship immerses students in entrepreneurship education and experiences, advances entrepreneurial research and nurtures regional outreach.

Learn more about The center


Shawn rohlin

Shawn Rohlin Ph.D. - Director of The Brinzo Center, Professor of Economics

Phone: 330-672-1098
Email: srohlin@kent.edu


nick Petrella

Nick Petrella - Entrepreneur in Residence

Phone: 330-672-5826
Email: npetrel3@kent.edu